What Big Teeth | Rose Szabo
Page count: 400
Publication date: February 2, 2021
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genres: YA, fantasy, gothic, urban fantasy, paranormal, dark fantasy
“Rose Szabo’s thrilling debut What Big Teeth is a dark, gothic fantasy YA novel about a teen girl who returns home to her strange, wild family after years of estrangement, perfect for fans of Wilder Girls…
Eleanor Zarrin has been distanced from her wild family for years. When she returns home after a violent incident at boarding school, trying to fit back into the space she left is harder than she thought. Eleanor is left to fend for herself within her family of monsters. But when a mysterious figure arrives at their family estate, she must find a way to overcome the monster invading her home or risk becoming a monster herself.
Exquisitely terrifying, beautiful, and savage, What Big Teeth is a genre-defying story from an exciting new literary voice.”
Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
I’ve read a lot of books, but let me tell you–this is one of the most bizarre books I’ve read! And that’s not a bad thing. I love books that are so out there that I’ve never read anything like it before! For someone who can’t handle a horror novel, I love a creepy gothic read. This book fulfilled that perfectly! The atmosphere, the urban fantasy worldbuilding…it was perfect!
I’m not sorry, but I requested this book entirely on the stunning cover alone! I read the synopsis afterward, but that brilliant cover is an instant money grab! It conveys the tone and mood of the book in the best possible way. It would be worth getting a physical copy for the cover alone!
The best part of What Big Teeth by far is the gothic atmosphere. As I said, I don’t do horror, but I love gothic books! The writing and the setting blend together perfectly to create a dark ambiance that carries through the book and makes it perfectly creepy.
What Big Teeth is the kind of book you go into for the creepiness alone. Although I liked the characters well enough, they weren’t one of the best parts. The main romance felt very forced in my opinion, as well as insta-lovey. I loved the family dynamics, though! Not enough YA books have families. Sometimes we’ll get a sister or brother or something, but I’m about sick of books on orphans.
Though I loved many elements of What Big Teeth, there were definitely gaps. For instance, when does the book take place? I would have loved to know. It seemed like modern-day, or at least close enough, but they were talking about record players and there seemed to be no internet. I get that they appeared to be in a very isolated place that might not have caught up to the rest of the world, but there were just little details here and there that kept me guessing. This isn’t that much of a big deal, but it kept me confused the whole time. My final guess is that it took place sometime in the late 60s, but I would love to know for real!
I assumed from the title that this is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, but it definitely isn’t. While some of the family are werewolves, there is no Big Bad Wolf. This is neither a bad nor a good thing, but if you’re looking for a retelling this isn’t it.
I had a great time with this read! It was definitely a solid gothic novel and it’ll probably be entering my rotation of spooky books to read in the fall!
Enter for a print copy of What Big Teeth! Giveaway ends on February 11, 2021.
What did you think? Does the book sound interesting?